[ASC-media] COSMOS welcomes Australia’s new Chief Scientist

Wilson da Silva wdas at nasw.org
Tue Sep 30 08:20:44 CEST 2008

Luna Media, publisher of Australia's #1 science magazine COSMOS,
applauded the appointment of Professor Penny Sackett as Australia's
new Chief Scientist and hoped it would help put science at the core of
future policy.

Editor-in-Chief and leading science commentator, Wilson da Silva, said
the establishment of a full-time Chief Scientist by the Minister for
Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Senator Kim Carr, announced
earlier today, was an overdue recognition of the value of science and
innovation to the economic health and wellbeing of Australia.

"A society that doesn't understand the value of science does not
utilise it, cannot learn from it, and risks not benefiting from it. It
is not only unaware of its own scientific prowess, but unable to tap
it," he said.

"Appointing a full-time Chief Scientist is a significant step in the
right direction. We need to get science out of the labs and museums
and into the core of policy development at all levels of government.
We need cabinet decisions informed and bolstered by the best science,
and ministers keen and eager to engage with scientists in finding

"The UK's former chief scientist, Sir David King, has made the point
that the serious challenges we face today – across climate change,
food and water security, deforestation, to name a few – are major ones
that will require scientists to be at the core of decision making, not
just as a periphery of advisers you call in when the plumbing's not

"Professor Sackett is a highly respected astronomer who is well
connected at an international level and has an excellent reputation
for being both innovative and capable of managing complex scientific
projects that break new ground and develop new technologies. She will
play a vital role in advising the Federal Government on emerging
issues in science and innovation."

Mr da Silva noted that, in his announcement, Senator Carr hoped
Professor Sackett will also encourage young Australians to see science
as an exciting career option.

"Science drives modern economies: it is industries based on innovation
that create new services, new products and new jobs – and the
wellspring of that innovation is science," he added. "So it is
absolutely essential we make science a career option for our children.

"Science is a living, breathing segment of our society where
interesting people do amazing things, and where young people can have
rewarding, fulfilling lives. By telling the stories of science in a
personal, engaging and very visual way in COSMOS magazine and our
daily news website, Cosmos Online, we are doing our bit to make
science relevant and engaging.

"COSMOS magazine reaches 60% of Australian high schools, and our
Cosmos Teacher's Notes are keenly used by science teachers as a tool
to engage students in the value and excitement of science. And we run
an internship program which has trained almost 30 science students in
science communication. We're proud of the positive impact we are
having in education."

COSMOS is a print magazine and an daily online news service that
treats science as natural part of culture. Published in Sydney and
with a global outlook, it has taken out 24 awards in three years,
including the inaugural Lord Mayor's Sustainability Award from the
City of Sydney in 2008 and Magazine of the Year in 2006 at Australia's
annual Bell Awards for Publishing Excellence. Its advisory board
includes Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, and it was founded by the
successful Melbourne-based neuroscientist and entrepreneur, and now
Chancellor of Monash University, Dr Alan Finkel.

Luna Media is unique in its approach to publishing in print and
online, combining engaging but rigorous content with experts who know
how to create and sustain valuable brands and publications. It relies
on an in-house team of award-winning science and environment
journalists to produce its two flagship brands, COSMOS and G Magazine,
Australia's #1 consumer sustainability title and the country's most
comprehensive green content site, with daily news, blogs and video.
Luna Media also has a stringent and independent editorial approach
focused on accuracy as well as easy readability. It is Australia's
first carbon neutral media company, uses 100% GreenPower in its
operations, and utilises an advisory board that includes Dr Tim
Flannery and Sir Richard Branson.

To arrange an interview with Wilson da Silva or for any other
information about COSMOS or Luna Media, please contact Caitlin Howlett
on Tel: 02 9310 8500.

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